Flexibility is the number one reason our students choose to study online. With access to an online student portal, you can study on your commute, at home, in a café and fit in study time around your other commitments.
The learning materials on your student portal are divided into small sections so you can do what’s called “bite sized” learning – that is learning in small parts when you have time.
However, we often hear students questioning the structure that they’ll miss from an in-class learning experience. And it’s true – online learning does take some self-discipline combined with a little bit of working out what works for you.
I’m going to share with you my top five strategies to make your online journey a real success.
1. Create a routine
The most successful online learners follow a regular routine and a schedule. They get up early and have mapped out their week.
Do you prefer studying in the evening, morning or middle of the day? When is your brain most active? Lock in your study at that time. No point planning to study after a full day’s work if you know you’ll be too tired, or in the morning, if that’s your workout time. If you are studying a course that requires 15 hours per week online learning, mapping out chunks of time is important.
A study timetable might look something like this…
Block out time for your own workouts, clients, work, social activities and study and colour code them. You can do this on your calendar app, or write it down and stick it on the fridge.
At the beginning of each day, review your daily schedule and make any revisions. What exactly will you do in your study time? For example, read Learner Guide for module one and spend 10 minutes looking at the first assessment. Or you might be able to watch a couple of videos on your commute to the office.
2. Buddy up
Find someone who is studying the same course as you via the private student and alumni page and make contact. If they live near you, maybe you can meet up for coffee, exchange ideas and help each other. Students with study buddies tend to feel less isolated and more inclined to seek help when needed.
3. Develop discipline
If you’re studying online at home, there will always be inviting distractions; kids, washing, online shopping, rearranging the drawers. The key to success is to allocate a period to study, then some time for jobs. For example, you might spend 40 minutes studying, then take a 10-minute break to do some housework, then get back onto the study. Like this, you give your brain a break so you can be fresh when you start your study again.
4. Remember the big picture
Writing your end goal on your vision board or somewhere near your study space is a good way to remind yourself of the reason you are studying. Maybe you want to be a Nutrition Coach, or a Massage Therapist or a Personal Trainer. Whatever your goal, making sure it is front and centre is essential.
5. Use your support networks
If you have children, ask your partner to take them out for a few hours on the weekend so you can have some uninterrupted study time. Remember, your tutors and student support team are also here to help you if you get stuck or need some further explanation about any of the content or assessments.